Supporting sustainable community development in farming regions across the world.


2016 Summer Solstice Run

Hit the Ground Running! June 17-June 18

11011204_903526939705707_2285777781913465777_nIt’s time again to start gearing up for On the Ground’s annual Summer Solstice Run! For the sixth consecutive year, OTG’s Summer Solstice Run will be an audacious, through-the-night, 40-mile ultrarun to celebrate the Summer Solstice and raise funds and awareness for all of OTG’s ongoing projects! This one-of-a-kind event starts promptly at sundown at the northernmost tip of Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula and wraps up in the heart of Traverse City, just as the sun rises across the shores of Lake Michigan.

If 40 miles feels like a bit too much for you to tackle, this year, for the first time ever, we are also hosting a Sunrise 10K. This exciting event will take place following the overnight run. As our endurance runners finish, you can pick up the torch and continue the momentum with this new evolution of our Summer Solstice Run. The Sunrise 10K begins promptly at 7 a.m. at Darrow Park. We ask that all participants arrive no later than 6:30 a.m.  

For a quick preview of what a Summer Solstice Run looks like, please watch the short video below.


Solstice Run Costs

40 Mile Overnight Ultrarun

$60 – Until March 31st – Early Registration Special
$65 – Until April 30th
$70 – Until May 31st (deadline to receive a custom Solstice T-shirt)
$75 – June 1st through the Run

Please Note: You and three fellow runners can also take on the 40-miler as a four-person team, each taking a ten mile leg. 10K Sunrise Run entry fee and deadlines apply.

10K Sunrise Run

$35 – Until April 30th
$40 – Until May 31st (deadline to receive a custom Solstice T-shirt)
$45 – June 1st through the Run

What you get: Beyond participation in an awesome event that builds community and supports OTG’s development efforts, when you participate in OTG’s Summer Solstice Run you receive a custom event t-shirt, photos from the event, and entry into our post-run party with delicious local food and drinks.

Why Run?

DSC_9897On the Ground’s Summer Solstice Run is a phenomenal way to build a sense of community in Traverse City, while raising funds and awareness for  OTG’s projects. Projects like:

    • Creating clean water initiatives in Chiapas, Mexico
    • Building schools, libraries, and latrines in Hase Gola, Ethiopia
    • Funding microloans for women in the West Bank, Palestine
    • Developing food security programs in Esteli, Nicaragua
    • Supporting gender equality initiatives in Kivu, DR Congo

      Want to go the extra mile? Help fundraise for OTG!

      In previous years, individual runner fundraising has been an important part of what makes OTG’s Summer Solstice Run so successful. In 2016, we’re adding even more structure to runners’ fundraising efforts by creating tiered fundraising levels. Each of these levels will have their own special incentives, beyond the knowledge that every dollar you raise is creating stronger, more-connected communities around the world. Stay tuned for more information on these levels in the coming week.


      Two ways to run, one movement to join


      40 Mile Overnight Ultra Run
      Leelanau Peninsula
      Register Now!OTG_click3
      40 Mile 4 Person Team
      Leelanau Peninsula
      Register Now!OTG_click3
      10K Sunrise Run
      Traverse City
      Register Now!OTG_click3






      Whether you’re an ultrarunner or an aspiring marathoner, we’re excited to have you along for the journey! If you have more questions about the 2016 Summer Solstice Runs, please contact

      Advice from the Experts

      Desmond croppedIn addition to serving as On the Ground’s Board Treasurer,  Matt Desmond has been participating in our Summer Solstice Run since it’s inception. Matt also participated in OTG’s 2011 Run Across Ethiopia, during which 10 American and 6 Ethiopian ultramarathoners ran 400 kilometers (250 miles) in 11 days to raise funds and awareness for education issues in the country.  

      Gear Advice From Matt

      For gear, a good pair of broken-in running shoes, of course, is critical. I like the zero lift shoes. Most zero lift are minimalist, but for 40 miles I go with a pair that has some structure and sole. I think it’s most important to go with what you train in, to stick with what has been working.

      For shirts, I go with a light-weight, wicking T. For running shorts, I like a longer leg (I think eight or nine inches) rather than the three or four inch shorties, I also like pockets to carry food. The most important consideration for shirts and shorts, without question, is their anit-chaffing qualities. Chaffing is torturous. Several hours of chaffing is beyond torturous. It’s also a good idea to apply chaffing cream to high risk, friction prone areas. Socks are another thing that can often be overlooked but are absolutely critical. I’m partial to toe socks for any run over 12 or miles. I have a few pair of Injini toe socks.

      Water/hydration is another consideration. I carry a bottle, often one with a little carrying harness to make it easier to hold. Some people wear camel backs. Others go without because we have water stations about every seven miles. You do want to take care to replenishing minerals and electrolytes. There are tons of brands on the market. I don’t have a preference as long as I have some. The only thing I can think of at this point is weather related gear. It might be nice to have a super light-weight rain parka if the need arises.  

      Keep an eye out for more Summer Solstice veteran advice as we get closer to June 17th!


      The 2016 Summer Solstice Run is powered by:

      Honor Bank Logounnamed
      download (2)YYF_Logo
      FC logo